List of Catholic authors

The authors listed on this page should be limited to those who identify as Catholic authors in some form. This does not mean they are necessarily orthodox in their beliefs. It does mean they identify as Catholic in a religious, cultural, or even aesthetic manner. The common denominator is that at least some (and preferably the majority) of their writing is imbued with a Catholic religious, cultural or aesthetic sensibility.

Asian languages

Chinese language

  • Xu Guangqi – One of the Three Pillars of Chinese Catholicism. He was a Chinese scholar-bureaucrat, agronomist, astronomer, mathematician, and writer during the Ming dynasty. Xu was a colleague and collaborator of the Italian Jesuits Matteo Ricci and Sabatino de Ursis and assisted their translation of several classic Western texts into Chinese, including part of Euclid's Elements.
  • Su Xuelin – Chinese educator, essayist, novelist and poet; she described Thorny Heart as a description of her 'personal journey on the road to Catholicism'[1]
  • John Ching Hsiung Wu – jurist and author; wrote in Chinese, English, French, and German on Christian spirituality, Chinese literature and legal topics
  • Li Yingshi – was a Ming Chinese military officer and a renowned mathematician,[1] astrologer and feng shui expert, who was among the first Chinese literati to become Christian. Converted to Catholicism by Matteo Ricci and Diego de Pantoja, the first two Jesuits to establish themselves in Beijing.

Japanese language

Vietnamese language

European languages

Albanian language

  • Gjon Buzuku – priest; wrote the first known printed book in Albanian.
  • Pal Engjëlli – Archbishop; wrote the first known document in Albanian
  • Gjergj Fishta – poet; in 1937 he completed and published his epic masterpiece Lahuta e Malcís, an epic poem written in the Gheg dialect of Albanian. It contains 17,000 lines and is considered the "Albanian Iliad". He is regarded among the most influential cultural and literary figures of the 20th century in Albania.
  • Ndre MjedaJesuit poet; poems include "The Nightingale's Lament" and "Imitation of the Holy Virgin"
  • Giulio Variboba – poet; priest, of the Arbëresh Albanian people of Southern Italy, regarded by many Albanians as the first genuine poet in all of Albanian literature

Bosnian language

  • Matija Divković – was a Bosnian Franciscan and writer from Bosnia. He is considered to be the founder of the modern literature in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Croatian language

  • Ivan Gundulić – poet; work embodies central characteristics of Catholic Counter-Reformation
  • Marko Marulić – poet; inspired by the Bible, Antique writers, and Christian hagiographies
  • Andrija Kačić Miošić – poet
  • Petar Preradović – was a Croatian poet, writer, and military general of Serb origin. He was one of the most important Croatian poets of the 19th century Illyrian movement and the main representative of romanticism in Croatia.

Czech language

Danish language

Dutch language

English language

As the anti-Catholic laws were lifted in the mid-19th century, there was a revival of Catholicism in the British Empire. There has long been a distinct Catholic strain in English literature.

The most notable figures are Cardinal Newman, a convert, one of the leading prose writers of his time and also a substantial poet, and the priest-poet Gerard Manley Hopkins, also a convert, although most the latter's works were only published many years after his death. In the early 20th century, G. K. Chesterton, a convert, and Hilaire Belloc, a French-born Catholic who became a British subject, promoted Roman Catholic views in direct apologetics as well as in popular, lighter genres, such as Chesterton's "Father Brown" detective stories. From the 1930s on the "Catholic novel" became a force impossible to ignore, with leading novelists of the day, Evelyn Waugh and Graham Greene, converts both, dealing with distinctively Catholic themes in their work. Although James Hanley was not a practising Catholic, a number of his novels emphasise Catholic beliefs and values, including The Furys Chronicle.

In America, Flannery O'Connor wrote powerful short stories with a Catholic sensibility and focus, set in the American South where she was decidedly in the religious minority.




  • Radclyffe Hall – English novelist, author of The Well of Loneliness.
  • Ron Hansen – contemporary American writer of Mariette in Ecstasy and The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
  • Jon Hassler  American novelist
  • Seamus Heaney  Irish poet;[4][5] translated Beowulf; pre-Christian aspects are important in his work
  • Peter Hebblethwaite – English journalist and biographer
  • Ernest Hemingway – raised Protestant; converted to Catholicism
  • Tony HendraFather Joe: The Man Who Saved My Soul
  • Patrick Holland – Australian novelist and short-story writer
  • Tony Hillerman – author of mystery novels set among the Navajo of the American Southwest
  • Gerard Manley Hopkins – 19th-century convert; became a Jesuit priest and poet; known for poems including "The Wreck of the Deutschland" and "God's Grandeur"
  • Paul Horgan
  • Stephen Hough – British musician and writer, author of The Bible as Prayer - a handbook for Lectio Divina, The Final Retreat, a novel about sexual addiction and despair in the life of a priest, Rough Ideas, a book of essays about music and many religious topics.
  • Robert Hutchinson – American religion writer, columnist and essayist, author of When in Rome: A Journal of Life in Vatican City, The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Bible and Searching for Jesus: New Discoveries in the Quest for Jesus of Nazareth.
  • Elizabeth Inchbald – early-19th-century English actress, novelist, and playwright
  • Laura Ingraham – conservative commentator, author and radio show host; often appears on Fox News and EWTN
  • Lionel Johnson – late-19th-century English poet and convert
  • Paul Johnson – historian and journalist – wrote A History of Christianity, Pope John Paul II and the Catholic Restoration, and others books
  • David Jones – British modernist poet; much of his work shows the influence of his conversion to Catholicism
  • James Joyce – Irish novelist from a middle-class Catholic family; Jesuit-educated; novels include Ulysses and Finnegans Wake; novels are permeated by Catholic themes and concepts; may have rejected the church as an adult (some critics/biographers opine that he never really left or later reconciled in some regard)
  • Julian of Norwich – late-14th- and early-15th-century English mystic and anchoress; she either wrote or dictated her mystical experiences consciously to instruct others; both the original version and the revised version are known as either A Revelation of Divine Love or simply Showings
  • George KellyPulitzer Prize-winning playwright; uncle of Grace Kelly
  • Margery Kempe – 15th-century English lay woman and self-proclaimed mystic; wrote one of the first, if not the first, autobiographies in the English language
  • Jack Kerouac – Beat author of On the Road; son of French-Canadian immigrants; born and reared a Catholic; experimented with Buddhism and later returned to Catholicism
  • Joyce Kilmer – poet; a convert; poetry titles include The Robe of Christ and The Rosary
  • Russell Kirk – American conservative political theorist and man of letters
  • Ronald Knox – convert who became a Roman Catholic priest; translated the Bible from the Latin Vulgate in the 20th century; wrote in a diverse range of genres, including detective stories, essays, sermons and satire
  • Dean Koontz – American novelist; known for moralistic thrillers; converted to Catholicism while in college
  • Peter Kreeft – professor of philosophy at Boston College and The King's College; writer of numerous books as well as a writer of Christian philosophy, theology and apologetics
  • Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn  Austrian political writer and novelist, whose most influential works were first published in English



  • John Henry Newman – convert; became a Catholic priest and later a Cardinal; master of English prose, e.g., his Apologia Pro Vita Sua; also wrote poetry, e.g., Lead, Kindly Light and The Dream of Gerontius
  • Aidan Nichols  Catholic theologian
  • Henri Nouwen – American Catholic priest; left academic post to work with the mentally challenged at the L'Arche community of Daybreak in Toronto, Canada
  • Michael Novak – contemporary politically conservative American political writer
  • Alfred Noyes – English poet; known for "The Highwayman"; wrote about his conversion to Catholicism in The Unknown God (1934)
  • Kate O'Beirne – wrote syndicated columns for the National Review and other conservative publications; also wrote books
  • Flannery O'Connor – her writing was deeply informed by the sacramental, and the Thomist notion that the created world is charged with God; like Graham Greene and Francois Mauriac she often focused on sin and human evil
  • Flann O'Brien – Irish comic writer
  • Lee Oser – American novelist and literary critic; Christian humanist
  • Coventry Patmore – 19th-century poet; a convert
  • Craig Paterson – philosopher and writer on bioethics
  • Joseph Pearce – English literary scholar and critic; former British National Front member who renounced racism on conversion; edited the anthology Flowers of Heaven: 1000 Years of Christian Verse; biographer of Oscar Wilde and Hilaire Belloc
  • Walker Percy – Southerner American convert and novelist who helped create the Fellowship of Southern Writers. He was also the man who discovered and helped publish the work of the deceased John Kennedy Toole. His most well known novel The Moviegoer won the U.S. National Book Award for Fiction in 1962.
  • David Pietrusza – American historian, editor of "Sursum Corda: Documents and Readings on the Traditional Latin Mass"
  • Ramesh Ponnuru – American conservative political writer; wrote The Party of Death attacking the pro-choice lobby in the United States
  • Alexander Pope – English poet; a Roman Catholic in a period when that was potentially unsafe in England (the early 18th century)
  • Katherine Anne Porter – on-again and then off-again convert
  • J. F. Powers  American writer of stories about clerical life
  • Tim Powers – American fantasy novelist, author of On Stranger Tides
  • John C. Preiss – American Catholic writer-convert, author of three books about the messages of Our Lady Of Fatima. President Of The Fatima Family Apostolate
  • Timothy RadcliffeDominican Order lecturer, writer, and professor
  • Piers Paul Read – contemporary but orthodox Catholic British novelist; vice president of the Catholic Writers Guild
  • Anne Rice – American writer; after a long separation from her Catholic faith during which she described herself as atheist, she returned to the church in 1998 and pledged to use her talents to glorify God; in 2010, she recanted her faith, declaring that she was going to follow Christ without Christianity, out of solidarity for her gay son
  • David Adams Richards – award-winning Canadian novelist, essayist and screenwriter; from New Brunswick
  • Francis Ripley – English priest; wrote about the faith
  • Richard Rohr – contemporary American Franciscan friar
  • Frederick Rolfe (alias Baron Corvo) – late-19th- and early-20th-century novelist; a failed aspirant to the priesthood
  • Raymond Roseliep – American priest and poet
  • Kevin Rush – American lay Catholic, playwright of award-winning stage play, Crossing Event Horizon, about a Catholic high school guidance counselor's midlife crisis, and novelist, author of Earthquake Weather, a novel for Catholic teens, and The Lance and the Veil, an adventure in the time of Christ.


  • George Santayana – Spanish-American philosopher and novelist; baptised Catholic; despite taking a sceptical stance in his philosophy to belief in the existence of God, he identified himself with Catholic culture, referring to himself as an "aesthetic Catholic"
  • Steven Schloeder – American architect and theologian; wrote book Architecture in Communion (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1998)
  • William Shakespeare – regarded by most to be the greatest playwright and poet in the English language, as well as being one of the greatest writers in the world; although disputed, a growing number of biographers and critics hold that his religion was Catholic
  • John Patrick Shanley – screenwriter and playwright; educated by the Irish Christian Brothers and the Sisters of Charity
  • Patrick Augustine Sheehan – Canon Sheehan of Doneraile, Catholic priest, novelist essayist and poet; significant figure of the renouveau Catholique in English literature in the United States and in Europe
  • Dame Edith Sitwell – English poet; a convert
  • Robert Smith – American Catholic priest, author and educator
  • Joseph Sobran – wrote for The Wanderer, an orthodox Roman Catholic journal
  • St. Robert Southwell – 16th-century Jesuit; martyred during the persecutions of Elizabeth I; wrote religious poetry, i.e., "The Burning Babe", and Catholic tracts
  • Dame Muriel Spark – Scottish novelist; decided to join the Roman Catholic Church in 1954 and considered it crucial in her becoming a novelist in the tradition of Evelyn Waugh and Graham Greene; novels often focus on human evil and sin
  • Robert Spencer – writer and commentator on Islam and jihad
  • Karl Stern – German-Jewish convert and psychiatrist
  • Francis Stuart – Australian-born Irish-nationalist Catholic convert; son-in-law of Maud Gonne; accused of anti-Semitism in his later years by Maire McEntee O'Brien and Kevin Myers
  • Jon M. Sweeney – American author of many books on religion, popular history, and memoir; convert
  • Harry Sylvester – American journalist, short story writer, and novelist; most famous books were the Catholic novels Dayspring and Moon Gaffney
  • Ellen Tarry – writer of young-adult literature and The Third Door: The Autobiography of an American Negro Woman
  • Allen Tate – convert; poet and essayist
  • Francis Thompson – 19th-century poet; wrote the devotional poem "The Hound of Heaven"
  • Colm Toibin – Irish actor and writer; wrote The Sign of the Cross
  • J. R. R. Tolkien – writer of The Lord of the Rings; devout and practicing Catholic
  • John Kennedy Toole – Pulitzer Prize-winning writer of A Confederacy of Dunces.
  • F. X. Toole (born Jerry Boyd) – Irish-American Catholic
  • Meriol Trevor – convert; author of historical novels, biographies, and children's stories
  • Lizzie Velásquez – writer of self-help, autobiographical, and young adult non-fiction
  • Elena Maria Vidal – historical novelist
  • Louie Verrecchio – Italian-American columnist for Catholic News Agency and author of Catholic faith formation materials and related books.
  • Christopher Villiers – British Catholic theologian and poet; author of Sonnets From the Spirit.
  • Maurice Walsh – one of the most popular Irish writers of the 1930s and 1940s, now chiefly remembered for the Hollywood film of his short story 'The Quiet Man;' wrote for the Irish Catholic magazine the Capuchin Annual and listed in the 1948 publication 'Catholic Authors: Contemporary Biographical Sketches, 1930-1952, Volume 1;'
  • Auberon Waugh – comic novelist and columnist; son of Evelyn Waugh
  • Evelyn Waugh – novelist; converted to Roman Catholicism in 1930; his religious ideas are manifest, either explicitly or implicitly, in all of his later work; strongly orthodox and conservative Roman Catholic
  • Morris West  Australian writer; several of his novels are set in the Vatican
  • Donald E. Westlake – American writer; three-time Edgar Award winner
  • Antonia White – author of four novels - including her 1933 novel Frost in May, based on her experiences at her Catholic boarding school - two children's books, and a short story collection.
  • Henry William Wilberforce – English journalist and essayist
  • Tennessee Williams – convert, American playwright and poet, who wrote such noted plays as The Glass Menagerie, The Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, and A Streetcar Named Desire.
  • D.B. Wyndham-Lewis – English comic writer and biographer
  • Oscar Wilde – late-19th-century playwright and poet; fascinated by Catholicism as a young man and much of his early poetry shows this heavy influence; embraced a homosexual lifestyle later on, but converted to Catholicism on his deathbed (receiving a conditional baptism as there is some evidence, including his own vague recollection, that his mother had him baptised in the Catholic Church as a child[9][10])
  • Gene Wolfe – science-fiction author; has written many novels and multivolume series; some, such as the Book of the New Sun and the Book of the Long Sun, are considered to be religious allegory
  • Carol Zaleski – American philosopher of religion, essayist and author of books on Catholic theology and on comparative religion

French language

There was a strong Catholic strain in 20th-century French literature, encompassing Paul Claudel, Georges Bernanos, François Mauriac, and Julien Green.


  • Honoré de Balzac – 19th-century novelist; wrote in a preface to La Comédie Humaine that "Christianity, and especially Catholicism, being a complete repression of man's depraved tendencies, is the greatest element in Social Order"
  • Jules Barbey d'Aurevilly – 19th-century novelist and short story writer, who specialised in mysterious tales that examine hidden motivation and hinted evil bordering the supernatural
  • Charles Baudelaire – 19th-century decadent poet; long debate as to what extent Baudelaire was a believing Catholic; work is dominated by an obsession with the Devil and original sin, and often utilises Catholic imagery and theology
  • Georges Bernanos  novelist, a devout Catholic; novels include The Diary of a Country Priest
  • Leon Bloy  late-19th- and early-20th-century novelist
  • Louis Gabriel Ambroise de Bonald – counter-revolutionary philosophical writer
  • Jacques-Benigne Bossuet  17th-century bishop, preacher and master of French prose; wrote famous funeral orations and doctrinal works
  • Pierre Boulle  writer; novels include The Bridge over the River Kwai (1952) and Planet of the Apes (1963)
  • Paul Bourget  novelist
  • Pierre Boutang
  • Jean Pierre de Caussade – Jesuit and spiritual writer
  • The Vicomte de Chateaubriand – founder of Romanticism in French literature; returned to the Catholic faith of his 1790s boyhood; wrote apologetic for Christianity, "Génie du christianisme" ("The Genius of Christianity"), which contributed to a post-Revolutionary revival of Catholicism in France
  • Paul Claudel  devout Catholic poet; a leading figure in French poetry of the early 20th century; author of verse dramas focusing on religious themes
  • François Coppée
  • Pierre Corneille – the founder of French tragedy; Jesuit-educated; translated The Imitation of Christ, Thomas à Kempis, into French verse
  • Léon Daudet
  • René Descartes – one of the most famous philosophers in the world; dubbed the father of modern philosophy; much subsequent Western philosophy is a response to his writings, which are studied closely to this day; also a mathematician and a scientist.
  • Pierre Duhem  late-19th-century physicist, historian and philosopher of physics
  • Saint Francis de Sales – Bishop of Geneva from 1602 to 1622; a Doctor of the Church; wrote classic devotional works, e.g., Introduction à la vie dévote (Introduction to the Devout Life) and Traité de l' Amour de Dieu (Treatise on the Love of God); Pope Pius XI proclaimed him patron saint of writers and journalists
  • François Fénelon – late-17th- and early-18th-century writer and archbishop; some of his writings were condemned as Quietist by Pope Innocent XII; he obediently submitted to the judgment of the Holy See
  • Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange – neo-Thomist theologian
  • Henri Ghéon – French poet and critic; his experiences as an army doctor during the First World War saw him regain his Catholic faith (as described in his work "L'homme né de la guerre", "The Man Born Out of the War"); from then on much of his work portrays episodes from the lives of the saints
  • Étienne Gilson  philosophical and historical writer and leading neo-Thomist
  • René Girard – historian, literary critic and philosopher
  • Julien Green – novelist and diarist; convert from Protestantism; A devout Catholic, most of his books focused on the ideas of faith and religion as well as hypocrisy.
  • Pierre Helyot – Franciscan history writer
  • Hergé – nom de plume of the writer and illustrator of Tin Tin, one of the most popular European comics of the 20th century, answer to Le Petit Vingtième request for a Catholic reporter that fought evil around the world
  • Victor Hugo – French novelist and poet
  • Joris-Karl Huysmans – originally a decadent novelist, his later novels, En Route (1895), La Cathédrale (1898) and L'Oblat (1903), trace his conversion to Roman Catholicism
  • Max Jacob
  • Francis Jammes  late-19th- and early-20th-century poet
  • Pierre de Jarric – French missionary and author
  • Marcel Jouhandeau


German language



Icelandic language

Irish language

Italian language

Latin language

  • Saint Ambrose   Bishop of Milan; one of the Four Latin Church Fathers; notable for his influence on Augustine; promoter of antiphonal chant and for the Ambrosian Rite
  • Augustine of Hippo   the earliest theologian and philosopher of the Church still having wide influence today; Bishop of Hippo; one of the Four Church Fathers; known for his apologetic work Confessions
  • Boethius   philosopher; known for The Consolation of Philosophy
  • Pope Gregory I   Pope; one of the Four Latin Church Fathers; born to a patrician family in Rome and became a monk; known today as being the first monk to become Pope and for traditionally being credited with Gregorian chant; emphasized charity in Rome
  • Saint Jerome   One of the Four Latin Church Fathers; known for translating the Bible into Latin; this translation is known as the Vulgate and became the founding source for Biblical subjects in the West
  • Saint Thomas Aquinas   One of the greatest Philosophers ever, known for his Summa Theologica.

Lithuanian language

Norwegian language

Polish language

Portuguese language

Russian language

Slovenian language

Spanish language

Swedish language

Welsh language

Genre writing


  • Anthony Boucher – American science-fiction editor, mystery novelist and short- story writer; his science-fiction short story "The Quest for Saint Aquin" shows his strong commitment to the religion
  • G. K. Chesterton – English lay theologian, poet, philosopher, dramatist, journalist, orator, literary and art critic, biographer, and Christian apologist; wrote several books of short stories about a priest, Father Brown, who acts as a detective
  • Antonia Fraser – English writer of history, novels, biographies and detective fiction; Roman Catholic (converted with her parents as a child); caused a public scandal in 1977 by leaving her Catholic husband for Harold Pinter
  • Ronald Knox – English priest and theologian; wrote six mystery novels
  • Ralph McInerny – American novelist; wrote over thirty books, including the Father Dowling mystery series; taught for over forty years at the University of Notre Dame, where he was the director of the Jacques Maritain Center

Science fiction and fantasy


Writers mistaken for Catholic

See also


  1. "The Study of Professor Su Xuelin" Archived 22 August 2011 at the Wayback Machine. National Cheng Kung University.
  2. Roger Robinson and Nelson Wattie, The Oxford Companion to New Zealand Literature, Oxford University Press, Auckland, 1998, pp. 45–48.
  3. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 7 March 2008. Retrieved 2006-08-17.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link).
  4. .
  5. Liukkonen, Petri. "Seamus Heaney". Books and Writers ( Finland: Kuusankoski Public Library. Archived from the original on 18 November 2005.
  6. First Tings
  7. .
  8. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 12 February 2007. Retrieved 2005-11-20.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link).
  9. Cavill, Paul; Ward, Heather; Baynham, Matthew; Swinford, Andrew (2007). The Christian Tradition in English Literature: Poetry, Plays, and Shorter Prose. p. 337. Zondervan.
  10. Pearce, Joseph (2004). The Unmasking of Oscar Wilde. pp. 2829. Ignatius Press.
  11. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 19 October 2006. Retrieved 2006-08-22.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link).
  12. .
  13. .
  14. . Christianity Today.
  15. . The Guardian.
  16. . San Francisco Chronicle.
  17. . Sims, Harley J. (December 13, 2016). "A Polish Tolkien? The fantasy world of Andrzej Sapkowski". Mercatornet. Retrieved August 20, 2018.
  18. Prado-Garduño, Gloria. Creación, recepción y efecto: Una aproximación hermenéutica a la obra literaria (in Spanish) (Second edition-First electronic ed.). México: Universidad Panamericana A.C. 2014. p. 203. ISBN 978-607-417-264-5.
  19. LaGreca, Nancy. Rewriting womanhood: feminism, subjectivity, and the angel of the house in the Latin American novel, 1887-1903. United States of America: Penn State Press. 2009. p. 202. ISBN 978-0-271-03439-3.
  20. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 26 October 2005. Retrieved 2005-11-20.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link). Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.
  21. .
  22. .
  23. .
  24. .
  25. .
  26. .
  27. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 11 September 2005. Retrieved 22 November 2005.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link).
  28. .
  29. . Time Out.
  30. Archived 26 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
  31. .
  32. The Keeper of Traken episode two audio commentary.
  33. .
  34. Staff (25 November 2002). "Corrections". The New York Times. 18 June 2014.


  • Encyclopedia of Catholic Literature (Two Volumes) edited by Mary R. Reichardt (Greenwood Press: 30 September 2004) ISBN 0-313-32289-9
  • Literary giants, literary Catholics (Ignatius Press 2005) editor Joseph Pearce ISBN 1-58617-077-5
  • Anthology of Catholic poets edited by Joyce Kilmer ISBN 1-4101-0281-5
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